An alligator was captured by authorities in a New Jersey river on Wednesday.

Alligator Captured In New Jersey River

New Jersey authorities were called to Elmwood Park on Wednesday morning after a fisherman thought he saw an alligator in the Passaic River basin. When they arrived, they discovered a 4 to 5-foot alligator hiding in the water, prompting a four-hour search and capture mission.

State authorities managed to safely capture the alligator around noon on Wednesday, and the animal was taken to an undisclosed facility. How the alligator arrived in the river waters of New Jersey remains a mystery. American alligators are native to the South, commonly seen in Florida or Texas. Elmwood Park Police Chief Michael Foligno hypothesized that someone must have owned the alligator as a pet and dumped it in the river after it grew to be too large to handle.

“Finding an alligator in a New Jersey waterway is not a common occurrence,” said State Department of Environmental Protection Caryn Shinske.

Shinske added that it is illegal for New Jersey residents to keep an alligator as a pet, and revealed that they are looking into zoos and educational facilities in the hopes of finding a new home for the animal.

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